• Heartprints

    Christian Parenting Mistakes: #3 Giving Stuff Versus Giving Myself?

    What does love look like? How do we teach it to our children? For some families, it is expressed through encouraging words or the giving of lots of stuff. For other families, it looks like a vacation in amusement parks or exotic places. The Bible teaches that love is not about giving stuff or even just spending time together, it is about giving self.  Little in this world is satisfying long term. Words can be empty and time together isn’t always productive. Quoting Isaiah’s message from God, Jesus said, “‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.” Time without investing our heart will never…

  • Heartprints

    Christian Parenting Mistakes- #1 Rules versus Relationship

    When teaching a group of missionaries’ children about our identity in Christ. I talked about God as our Father. I read to them the verses in Hebrews 12:5-11 NET Bible        "And have you forgotten the exhortation addressed to you as sons? ‘My son, do not scorn the Lord’s discipline or give up when he corrects you. For the Lord disciplines the one he loves and chastises every son he accepts. . .’ I talked about how God as creator is the expert about what is best for us. He says that for a parent to love their children well they must both train them in the ways…

  • Heartprints

    Memorial Day, Remembering to Remember

    Monday is Memorial Day. How many homes and Sunday school classes will make the most of this teaching moment? Is it true that most Americans see Memorial Day more as a celebration for the beginning of summer than the freedom/flag day that was intended? There are homes and churches who will recognize their veterans and celebrate their sacrifice. Most churches will praise God for our freedom and pray for the families of the fallen. How many will look historically at the beginning of this great holiday and understand that it is a memorial set to remember the price willingly paid to free thousands from slavery and to keep a country…

  • Heartprints

    Change of Seasons or a Change of Heart?

      Did you ever wonder why God created the sun to rise in the East? Is it coincidence that Jesus rose in the Middle East to save the world from the darkness of sin? “The true light, who gives light to everyone . . . was in the world, . . . but the world did not recognize him. . . We saw his glory—the glory of the one and only, full of grace and truth, who came from the Father.” John 1:9,10,14 “But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:  In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them…

  • Heartprints

    The Tale of a Traitor

    There are many wonderful heroes and traitorous foes in the pages of the Bible. Both good and bad share in the human frailties that come from being made of dust. Noble heroes of faith surrounded by their unbelieving, accusing and deadly opponents are found in every book. However, tucked in the corner of a bigger story we find some who pose in the OT as worshipers of Jehovah or in the NT as Christ followers. They would fade into the background of the story if not for the amazing crossroads where their half-hearted faith meets their whole-hearted greed or hatred. Judas Iscariot was just such a man. Speaking of Judas,…

  • Heartprints

    The Velveteen Christian

    Our world is made up of a constant cacophony of voices. Truth, lies, myths, imaginations, and opinions fill our world with dissidence and confusion. We have information overload. It is difficult to discern who can be trusted because of the spin, the agendas, the omitted facts or the inserted insinuations that twist and distort. When I think of celebrating “Easter” once again after over fifty years, my heart is moved to get it right this time. To REALLY celebrate! As I have been praying about this, the Lord reminded me of my favorite story, the Velveteen Rabbit. I reflected on the conversation between Horse and Rabbit about becoming real. "What…

  • Heartprints

    The Christmas Refugee

    Did you ever wonder why Jesus was born in a stable? It wasn’t just coincidence, a lack of planning, or slow travel so that by the time they arrived they just happened to be too late. It wasn’t bad luck that they had to stay in a stable. God carefully orchestrated this. If for no other purpose, I am convinced it was done so that His invited guests would feel right at home when they came to worship. Only a certain few were invited. What an invitation it was!  “. . . the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid! Listen carefully, for I proclaim to you good news…

  • Heartprints

    Shaping Abstract Truths To Form A Firm Foundation – #2- God’s Image In Mankind Became Distorted at the Fall

    God has complete unity in HImself, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. He made humans to live in unity and community with Him. God planned from the beginning for Adam and Eve and all their descendants to walk and talk with Him daily. “ . . .  the man and hiswife heard the sound of the Lord God moving about in the orchard at the breezy time of the day. . .” Gen 3:8 The Net Bible Imagine that for a moment, as you are going about your daily business when suddenly you hear the sound of Creator God moving about. He is with you, there to visit with you in person,…

  • Engage

    Hunting for Goodness

    Goodness. It’s this elusive thing we crave. We know what it looks like but can’t fully describe it. We know when we hunger for it but can’t seem to clutch onto it and make it stay. We want to bottle it up, store it tight and save it for a desperate day. But we can’t. Goodness slips into our days and surprises us in the most unexpected ways. Like familiar arms slipping round our waste as we do the dishes. Or sometimes—occasionally—like a flurry of activity at the back door when our kid sneaks home from college for an unexpected weekend. But sometimes we just can’t seem to see it.…

  • Heartprints

    GOOD GRIEF: Seven Steps to Embracing Emotions- #1 Be Honest!

    Grieving the big losses in life: death of loved ones, loss of health, homes destroyed by catastrophes, marriages ending in divorce, jobs ending, and other great losses can be devastating. Our feelings are better managed at such times if we have learned to trust God in everyday losses beginning at a very early age. What you teach your child as they let go of bottles, pacifiers, and security blankets, or how to accept the loss of broken toys and moving friends will make a difference in how your child faces the bigger losses that come through death, tragedy, and disappointments. Too many times as parents and teachers we miss the incredible opportunities…